Perpetuating Patriotic Perceptions: The Cognitive Funtion of the Cold War

By Matthew S. Hirshberg | Go to book overview

Figure 9.1 also shows an extremely strong relationship between agreement that the United States is working to oppose communism and agreement that the United States is promoting democracy. Both in general (tau = .41, p 〈.00005) and with respect to Nicaragua (tau = .40, p 〈.00005), perceptions of U.S. goals as opposing communism and promoting democracy went together. This finding indicates that the beliefs that the United States promotes democracy and opposes communism are not independent. The cold war schema has bound these two beliefs together in a common belief system. The findings of this study are further evidence of the schema's presence in American minds and of its impact on American perceptions of international affairs.


NOTE
1
The reader will notice that each statement specifies "the goal of U.S. foreign policy" rather than a goal, "the purpose of U.S. action in Nicaragua" rather than a purpose. This strong language was used intentionally in order to identify subjects who truly thought the goal in question was an important one. The strong wording was used in the interest of validity, and the percentages of subjects agreeing with the statements are subsequently less than they might have been. More subjects would have agreed with statements referring to "a goal" or "a purpose": subjects who disagreed because they did not think that the goal in question was centrally important enough to be called "the goal of U.S. foreign policy" might have opted for the weaker characterization of "a goal of U.S. foreign policy."

-187-

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Perpetuating Patriotic Perceptions: The Cognitive Funtion of the Cold War
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Figures and Tables ix
  • Preface xiii
  • 1 - "America Won the Cold War!": an Introduction 1
  • Note 14
  • Part I - The Cold War Schema in America 15
  • 2 - Cognition, Culture, and the Cold War Schema 17
  • 3 - Cold War Opinion in America 50
  • Notes 95
  • 4 - Cold War Themes in American Culture 97
  • 5 - Central American Elections on Network News: Cases of Cold War Framing 107
  • Note 123
  • Part II - Cognitive Effects of the Cold War Schema 125
  • 6 - Common Meanings for Cold War Concepts 127
  • Notes 142
  • 7 - Balance, Stability, and Change in the Cold War Schema 144
  • Notes 162
  • 8 - Attributions for Superpower Interventions 163
  • Note 180
  • 9 - Cold War Goals in American Foreign Policy: Nicaragua and the World 181
  • Note 187
  • 10 - Choosing Sides with the Cold War Schema 188
  • 11 - Recalling Information Consistent with the Cold War Schema 197
  • 12 - Conclusion 209
  • References 213
  • Index 223
  • About the Author *
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